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Friday, March 27, 2009
Welfare for Gitmo Detainees?

So they can live in the USA?

Some of the detainees, deemed non-threatening, may be released into the United States as free men, Blair confirmed.

That would happen when they can't be returned to their home countries, because the governments either won't take them or the U.S. fears they will be abused or tortured. That is the case with 17 Uighurs (WEE'-gurz), Chinese Muslim separatists who were cleared for release from the jail long ago. The U.S. can't find a country willing to take them, and it will not turn them over to China.

Blair said the former prisoners would have [to] get some sort of assistance to start their new lives in the United States.

“We can't put them out on the street,” he said.

They get cited over and over as "innocent" but Tom Joscelyn points out that this is a new meaning for the word:

None of the 17 Uighurs are master terrorists on par with the likes of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. They were mostly new recruits at the time of their capture. However, as I have argued before, they are all affiliated with and/or members of a designated terrorist organization, received training at a training camp in the al Qaeda/Taliban stronghold of Tora Bora, and have admitted that they were trained by two known terrorists. And, on top of that, the group that trained them threatened to attack the Olympic Games in China last year.

Even if you don’t think that we should lock them up and throw away the key, do we really want to pay them to live on U.S. soil?

Perhaps we could give them a small stipend so they could buy tools of the trade (boxcutters) and perhaps a one-way ticket to Los Angeles?

Realistically, Bush should have sent them back to China. Yes, they'd probably have been treated pretty harshly, given that their objective was to terrorize the Olympics. But better them at risk from the Chinese, than us at risk from them.

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